10 June 2008

Traffic Lights from Hell?

From Google Maps

The road across the bottom of this Google Maps view of Plymouth International Business Park is not that long. Less than 5 min walk from the mini roundabout bottom right to the main traffic light controlled junction on the left hand side of the image. It can get quite busy as there is a lot of hospital traffic leaving the site in the evenings. That said its not usually a major problem. Thanks to Northern Connect I now have a regular 'bus' service from my place of work at Derriford Business Park and can catch the bus from outside the red coloured inverted L shaped building top right. I have it pretty well worked out now as I see the bus or Taxibus drive past on the way to Crownhill and I know I have 10 minutes before it comes back on its way through Derriford Hospital and on the Estover. The last couple of days it has not worked like that. Yesterday it took about half an hour for the bus to make it down to Crownhill and back. Today it was just about 20 minutes. For some reason the traffic lights on the main Tavistock Road Junction were not letting traffic out properly. The driver said that it seemed as if only one or two vehicles at most were getting out onto Tavistock Road. Yesterday it was made worse as Crownhill itself was also choked up but today once he was out on Tavistock Road he sailed through to Crownhill, turned and returned. It was just the (nearly) 15 minutes it took him to get along the small little road from the roundabout to Tavistock Road. I cant think of any reason why the lights should have changed at this junction? Seems most odd - and plays havoc with the timetable.

The Target Travel element of Northern Connect has always seemed to manage pretty well to keep to timetable where the taxi buses have sometimes struggled. It does all show how difficult it must be trying to run a regular bus service in Plymouth ( or anywhere else I guess). One set of road works popping up, or a set of traffic lights changing their behaviour and your whole service is up the creek!

Some good news though, it seems that the long running bridge works through Leigham are coming to an end as this evening the traffic lights have been taken down and traffic was flowing through freely again. I suspect there may still be temporary restrictions from time to time as the sites are finished off but it should help improve the 50 and 52 services which pass through here which have suffered quite badly during the works.

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